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Why did I get schizophrenia?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You probably developed symptoms of schizophrenia due to a mix of genetic and environmental causes. If you have a family member with schizophrenia, your chance of developing the illness increases. For instance, if you have an identical twin with schizophrenia, you will have a 40% to 65% chance of having the illness yourself. If your parent or sibling has schizophrenia, your chances of also having it are 1 in 10. When extended family members have the illness, your chance is slightly less than that. Most people in the United States only have a 1 in 100 chance of developing schizophrenia.

Along with heredity, researchers are trying to determine if other situations cause schizophrenia. One theory is that the brains of people with schizophrenia start to develop differently while in the womb. Scientists are studying factors like illness and malnutrition in the womb, to determine if these situations might affect a fetal brain during pregnancy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.